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Queens College to honor late renowned jazz master Jimmy Heath in benefit concert

Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath, who died in 2020, was a renowned Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, big band leader, and mentor to countless musicians. (Photo courtesy of Queens College)

In honor of the late renowned jazz saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath, Queens College will host a Jimmy Heath Scholarship Fund Concert on Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m. 

The event will take place at LeFrak Concert Hall inside the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing. It will be presented in person and livestreamed for audiences. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Jimmy Heath Scholarship Endowment Fund. A video montage of Heath’s life and career will be displayed on a screen behind the stage performances. 

Antonio Hart, director of the jazz studies program and Heath’s devoted former student, organized the event. Hart is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer. 

Queens College President Frank Wu said the concert is a “wonderful tribute to an iconic musician, composer, educator and mentor,” who also served as a professor and founder of the jazz department and the guiding force behind the development of its master’s program curriculum offered at the Aaron Copland School of Music. 

“We joyfully join with his family, friends and all New Yorkers in celebrating Jimmy Heath’s dynamic music, wonderful life and enduring legacy. His cultural and educational contributions will continue to thrive through the establishment of the Jimmy Heath Scholarship Fund at Queens College to help support students in their quest to become a part of the next generation of great musical artists,” Wu said. 

Heath, who died in 2020, was a renowned Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, big band leader and mentor to countless musicians. He was also an author and advisory board member of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, where he contributed to efforts to preserve Armstrong’s legacy. 

On Friday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m., the school community and Heath’s family members will unveil “James Edward Heath Way” at 114th Street and 34th Avenue in Corona to honor Heath, who was a resident. Councilman Francisco Moya will host the event with Wu, Hart and Heath’s family members. The Louis Armstrong Elementary School (P.S. 134) glee club and band will perform in Heath’s honor.

For the concert on May 21, in-person tickets are $25 for general admission and $10 for students. Livestream broadcast tickets are a $10 minimum donation. Tickets are available from the Kupferberg Center for the Arts Box Office

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